Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome to my pity party!

Can I just take five minutes, please, to have a pity party for myself? Thank you for attending. Here are your balloons =====================>>> 

For those of you who don't know me well yet: 
"Hi! I'm Colleen. And I'm an insomniac."

I'm a stay at home mom by day, and while I love my "day job," it doesn't always provide me with the intense creative outlet I need for all of these ideas bouncing around inside of my head. They usually get squashed down during the day and then rear their ugly heads at night. 

So last night, while I couldn't sleep, I got a burst of inspiration for my trilogy covers. Let me premise this with a few things:
  • I'm an editor and writer by heart, not a graphic designer.
  • These are very rough mock-ups to illustrate a concept I had, not what I hope they would really look like in the end. (There are inconsistencies that I would want to correct.)
  • There were several common YA book cover themes that emerged in 2012 and are emerging in 2013 that, while cool, seem to have been "done" before. I want something truly unique, that really stands out. Don't we all?
  • Each of my characters has an element attached to their magic: Guardian of Fire, Guardian of Earth, Guardian of Wind.

All that said, I got this fun concept in my head to zero in on each character's eyes and reflect the natural element inside of them that they will be discovering along the way. So, without further ado, here was my initial concept, showing all 3 covers side by side.

I know that whether I go with an agent and publisher, or the self-published route, I will want a hand in my cover concept. That said, there are many creative folks out there, and I will hire someone with mad design skills to take these covers in the right direction. It's way too early in the process for me to become married to a concept. But, I was having fun, and thought they were kinda cool. I'm curious to know what y'all honestly think of them, and whether I was on the right track. 

Not that it matters, I guess. Because, while piddling around on Twitter today, I saw a link to a writer whom Twitter thinks I should follow. Her name is Lisa McMann. Anyone a fan-girl or fan-guy? If so, you may have already seen the cover for her new book, Crash, which was published just 8 little days ago.  

*Insert pity party here*

Seriously? I created this concept just yesterday. I did, I really did. Dang it, Lisa McMann for having such a brilliant idea before me. Oh, snap.

I know I could still use the concept for my trilogy, but it just feels like I would look like a copy cat now, and that totally bums me out.

So, I'm just curious writer friends. Who has had something like this happen in their writing career and how did you handle it? What would you do if you were me? My husband's advice was basically, "If you could think of something this cool, you'll think of something else original and creative. Don't worry." Good, solid advice.

But, for now, I still have 3 minutes of my pity party left. Cheers!


  1. When you get to that point, give me a shout. Shadeflower Press would love to assist you with laying out the book, creating the cover, your website, bookmarks, biz cards and more!

  2. Just remember, there are no new ideas. Just fresh spins on well worn concepts. If you like your covers, stick with the dream and when the time comes just do it better! ;) Dan

  3. Also, I have same issue with my trilogy. Fantastic concept 10 years ago when I started, now others are doing similar. Stupid taking too long to write and get published! But I'm sticking with it anyway and will OWN it when I get there...

  4. Dan - that's kind of where I am. Had I done this five years ago, I could've been the next Stephenie Meyer. Haha! But, I love my characters and story, so it will be told one way or the other. Good luck on your trilogy too. Can't wait to hear the concept!

  5. I agree with Dan. No need to give up on your cover concept, just put your own spin on it! I'm sure it will be something fantastic!

  6. Book Wookie =) Thanks! I am optimistic that a real cover designer will do me right when the time comes. *crosses fingers* Plus, I have an ace in the hole if needed - Shadeflower Designs!